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FROM CONNECTICUT TO CALIFORNIA: NATIONAL ON-LINE DEBIT MAKES ITS DEBUT; ARCO SERVICE STATION IN CALIF. SITE OF FIRST MAESTRO DEBIT TRANSACTION

FROM CONNECTICUT TO CALIFORNIA: NATIONAL ON-LINE DEBIT MAKES ITS DEBUT;

ARCO SERVICE STATION IN CALIF. SITE OF FIRST MAESTRO DEBIT TRANSACTION
 LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Can a Connecticut Yankee driving through the West buy gasoline and a snack without cash or a check? Yes, thanks to ARCO Products Company, which today became the first retail marketer to accept and process a coast-to-coast on-line debit transaction under the Maestro(R) brand.
 Maestro adds worldwide purchasing power to consumers' ATM cards, enabling consumers to draw directly from their checking accounts to pay for retail purchases, even when their banks are states -- or continents -- away.
 A convenient "pay now" alternative choice to cash and checks, Maestro is an ideal complement to ARCO's marketing philosophy and operations, which emphasize delivering convenience and value to the consumer. ARCO revolutionized gasoline retailing by pioneering the self-service station, adding convenience store franchises, eliminating its retail credit card, and introducing the PayPoint(R) Network, an electronic fund-transfer system that enables its customers to pay for gasoline and other purchases with an ATM card. Such innovations have made ARCO the leading gasoline retailer throughout the five western states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
 "ARCO and Maestro are a perfect match," said Thomas R. Murphy, vice president of retail sales, ARCO. "This is an innovative, state-of-the-art program that enables us to attract and serve a national and even global customer base as easily and efficiently as our local consumers. We're delighted to be the first retail organization to roll out Maestro coast-to-coast, so much so that we already have 1,400 locations and 3,500 terminals throughout our five state western region on-line with Maestro."
 "We believe that acceptance by such an innovative marketer and retailer as ARCO Products illustrates the benefits Maestro can provide consumers and merchants," stated Arthur D. Kranzley, president and CEO of Maestro U.S.A. "The Maestro brand represents significant potential incremental sales and easy access to the broadest possible audience."
 ARCO completed the first coast-to-coast transactions today at one of its Los Angeles area service station and am/pm(R) mini market locations when it accepted Maestro-enhanced ATM cards issued by People's Bank of Connecticut. The Connecticut visitors -- including Michael J. Cataldo and Ronald T. Urquhart, first vice presidents of People's Bank and Richard Yanak, president of Yankee 24, the regional EFT network -- each simply presented his card, which was swiped through ARCO's PayPoint magnetic reader terminal, and entered his personal code.
 Similar to an ATM transaction, the ARCO purchase was forwarded electronically to People's Bank, approved, and immediately posted to the customer's checking account at the same time that a receipt was printed for the customer at the retailer -- all within a matter of seconds. The Maestro transaction will be included, along with any traditional ATM and checking transactions, in the cardholder's monthly bank account statement.
 "Consumers who prefer to pay as they go now don't have to worry about the delay of check approval procedures or carrying large sums of cash when shopping," noted Maestro's Kranzley. "These advantages are particularly important at retail outlets where cash and checks are the traditional payment methods, such as gas stations, convenience stores and supermarkets."
 "By providing international point-of-sale capability to an existing popular product -- our ATM cards -- Maestro really expands the value and service we can offer our customers," stated Urquhart, People's Bank. "It represents a convenient and secure option to pay for purchases, and gives our customers a new way to manage their finances."
 -0- 8/19/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Apesos or Elizabeth Sullivan both of MasterCard International, 212-649-5476, or Gordon Clark of the Rowland Company, 212-527-8874, for MasterCard/ CO: Maestro U.S.A.; ARCO Products Company ST: New York IN: FIN SU: PDT


TS-LR -- NY010 -- 1273 08/19/92 10:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 19, 1992
Words:632
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